This form of art is considered as one of the most elaborated form of paintings and originated in Thanjavoor, Tamil Nadu. They have a style of richness in them and can leave everyone spellbind. The best feature of this painting is that it has a three dimensional effect created by using modeling effects created with the application of layers of paste made from glue and limestone.
The art form dates back to about 1600 AD, a period when Nayakas of Tanjavur encouraged art—chiefly, classical dance and music—as well as literature both in Telugu and Tamil. Tanjore Paintings are known for their surface richness, vivid colours and compact composition. Essentially serving as devotional icons, the themes of most of these paintings are Hindu gods and goddesses, and saints as well. Episodes from Hindu tradition are drawn upon as elaboration to the main figure / figures placed in the central section of the picture.
Tanjore paintings are in fact panel paintings done on solid wood planks and hence were also referred to as ‘palagai padam’ in local parlance. In modern times, these paintings have become a much sought after as souvenir during festive occasions in South India or as pieces to decorate the walls or as collector item by art lovers.
Tanjore Paintings evoke a sense of class and timelessness with their alluring illustrations of puranic scenes. This ancient art form traces its origin to Tanjavur, capital of the erstwhile chola empire and is popular among contemporary Indian women for showcasing their artistic inclination and tastes.